Bill would restrict release of officers’ names in shootings

JACKSON, Miss. — Names of Mississippi police officers involved in shootings could be shielded from public release for up to six months.

A bill restricting release of the names passed the state House on Tuesday and goes to the Senate for more work. It’s a response to the city of Jackson’s announced policy to release officers’ names within three days of a shooting.

House Bill 1289 would prohibit release of an officer’s name until a grand jury decides whether to indict the officer or a prosecutor clears the officer of wrongdoing. An amendment added the six-month limit.

The Clarion Ledger reports that Republican Rep. Mark Baker said releasing officers’ names early would “throw them to the wolves.”

Democratic Rep. Chris Bell of Jackson asked why officers should receive more privacy than other citizens.

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